Ever wonder why some people are so committed to working out? Maybe it’s because you have never experienced and truly enjoyed the feeling of what many weightlifters call the ‘pump.’ It’s the stimulating and euphoric feeling that directly results from the mind muscle connection.
Contrary to what you might be thinking, it’s actually easy to achieve.
We are not always in the prime position to reap the full benefits of exercise. If we are simply going through the motions and repetitions, we miss out on the good stuff. We miss out on that euphoric feeling and “pump” that comes with exercising.
As a guide, here are 5 tips to help you achieve the right mind muscle connection for a better workout.
1Touch the muscle you are trying to work
Before starting out with your routine, you should do a pre-ritual. It will mentally prepare you to give your best in your workout. Flexing and touching the muscle you are about to exercise can help you build the right mind muscle connection. It will bring awareness to the muscles.
Arnold Schwarzenegger believed that the origin of all of his power came from “channeling positive energy into his muscles during every exercise.” He created such a positive emotional attachment to them that each time he steps into the gym, he aims to re-experience the rush of endorphins his mind and body work together to create.
3Understand the feeling of the muscle working
When we take the time to visualize and experience the feeling of the muscles we are working out, we subconsciously remember what that feels like during the exercise. This helps us to know whether or not we are working our muscles properly. Armed with this knowledge, we can determine if we need to make any adjustments to our exercise routine.
Sometimes, touching our muscles and flexing them is not enough. Try to do a lightweight isolation exercise that focuses on the muscle you are trying to work so you can get an idea.
4Check your ego
Sometimes, we get caught up in reaching that PR that we forget about proper form.
For example, when we add more weight without establishing a good foundation, we are only tricking our minds into thinking we can handle it. This is the primary reason for muscle imbalances, which eventually turn into pain.
The body is a complex mechanism with hundreds of muscles, bones, and tissues. All of these things work together to help you complete a move.
This makes it essential that you know what other muscle groups are used in every exercise you do. If your primary focus is muscle X, don’t allow yourself to become lazy and allow other muscles to compensate for it.
5Take a 5-minute warmup before your workout
Rushing into anything rarely produces the best results. When we jump from one task to another, it becomes harder to gain immediate focus, especially if we haven’t cleared our minds enough to focus on the present moment.
When our workout becomes focused on getting the job done, we rush in order to advance to the next task on our list. This makes us miss the whole purpose of working out.
Don’t jump right into the thick of things. You can take as little as 5 minutes to calm your mind and clear your thoughts before your warm up. Get lost in your music, float around and stay loose.
Think about getting into “the zone.”
If we cannot feel the muscles we are trying to work on, then what is the point of exercising? Achieving the ‘pump’ or muscle stimulation is the primary purpose of lifting weights. If you have experienced this, then you are in on the secret. You have a very good idea of what makes a good mind muscle connection.
The ‘pump’, however, is something anyone can achieve.
By making your mind work together with your muscles, you can progress at a much faster rate. Don’t just move the weight, lift it purposefully! You will soon discover how exercise can make you experience that ‘pump’ feeling, and it can be the driving force that keeps you progressing in the gym.
How do you channel your inner beast?
See Also: 19 Ways to Get Motivated to Exercise
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6Author: Kyle Barichello
My purpose is to inspire those to change their perspective on how proper nutrition, movement and mental health can lead to a more fulfilling life. Choose Your Wellness is a blog designed around helping everyone find wellness strategies that work for them to Simply Kill It Every Day in life.